Manière du départ: Beauvoir, Merleau-Ponty and Lévi-Strauss take their leave

Penelope Deutscher*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Claude Imbert's responses to Beauvoir, Merleau-Ponty and Lévi-Strauss characteristically interpret their work as philosophical departures and emigrations. Less interested in definitively abandoned conceptual models, Imbert focuses on incomplete, 'vexed', 'active' leaving: a text which is 'out of synchronicity with its own philosophical time'; which is 'in advance of oneself '; or uses a philosophical mode whose limitations and fracture points are concurrently revealed. Beauvoir's project in The Second Sex is interpreted as sustained by, and productive in, its own cul-de-sacs, while Merleau-Ponty is interpreted as engaged in an ongoing emigration from phenomenology and transcendentalism. Whereas Derrida's Lévi-Strauss reinstates a Rousseauist vision, Imbert's Lévi-Strauss is a figure perpetually departing from his own resources. In their irony, his reinstatements of nostalgia take leave of themselves. Imbert is described as a critic who has brought her acuity to such philosophical departures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)233-243
Number of pages11
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 23 2011


  • Beauvoir
  • Derrida
  • Imbert
  • Lévi-Strauss
  • Merleau-Ponty
  • Sartre

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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